Initial Descent: May 21 – 27, 2017

Jordablod Band
Jordablod

MDF week is upon us and while I can’t be there I know plenty of you that are. Hopefully soon I can live vicariously through your experiences, be safe and enjoy. For the rest of you, it’s another stacked week here on Initial Descent. And leading us off is the amazing prog/black/death metal debut Upon My Cremation Pyre from Jordablod. If you’ve ever heeded my advice I implore you to check this one out — scorching way to burst onto the scene here. Next up is Wode with their second full length Servants of the Countercosmos and as ridiculously good as their debut was this one is even better. The formula has been altered slightly but the results are astounding, count on this one staying the course the rest of the year. Sólstafir return with Bedreyminn and unshockingly they’ve done it yet again — blistering post rock collides with their signature metal style and it’s, simply put, bliss. Last of the top slots goes to Illustrations with Acts of God and if you missed out on this band’s debut do not make that mistake again. Hardcore is the foundation but many elements have been added to make this a heartfelt and colorful album, highly recommended. As usual, there is much more to sink your teeth into right after the jump… Continue reading

Initial Descent: May 14 – 20, 2017

Steve Von Till - Harvestman
Steve Von Till (Harvestman) – Photo courtesy of Niela Von Till

I’ve said this a couple of times since hearing the tragic news of Chris Cornell’s passing: you never stop long enough to realize just how ingrained in the fabric of your own life an artist really is until it’s too late. Badmotorfinger came out when I was 17, a time when I was 10 feet tall and bulletproof but really just trying to figure it all out. What I gained from Soundgarden and the soulful, visionary vocals of Cornell was a safe place away from it all. A place I could just…be, tune out everything and escape. Throughout the years and other projects, solo or otherwise I’ve always been able to find that safe place, that frequency that allowed me to get lost in his music. Today it hits even harder. We’ve lost so many good ones but because of that time and place, being 10 feet tall and not knowing anything and hearing that voice, this one really hit home. Chris “Outshined” them all…rest in peace. Nine Circles offers heartfelt condolences to family, friends, bandmates and fans across the globe that were touched in any way by his music.

This week gives us yet another escape and it couldn’t have come at a better time: Steve Von Till’s project Harvestman returns with Music For Megaliths, the fourth full length of folk inspired ambient drone and its one you cannot miss (but if you’re a Von Till fan you already know that). Vancouver’s Device gives us their next — and unfortunately last — full length Good Things Never Last, an album full of classic and classy traditional heavy metal. We need this right now so do yourself a favor and pick this one up, trust me. Somnium Nox offers up their menacing take on atmospheric black metal with debut full length Terra Inanis and Abkehr suck every bit of air out of the room on their dark and sinister black metal debut EP In Asche. So there you have it, a week I wish we could do over with different results and new releases that give us somewhere to find some sort of comfort and escape. Please, be well friends. Continue reading

Interview: Uddipan Sarmah of Aswekeepsearching on New Album Zia, Post-Rock In India and Writing

Aswekeepsearching
Aswekeepsearching

Aswekeepsearching is a post-rock band from India. Their debut album, Khwaab released in 2015 was well received and the band also toured Russia. Last month, they released their second album Zia. The album is a unique take on post-rock and is unlike anything I have heard before. I spoke to Uddipan Sarmah (Vocals/Guitars) about the new album, post rock in India, their writing process and more. Continue reading

Book Review: Alexandre Dumas’ “Count of Monte Cristo” by Michael Martin of Ascentia

The Count of Monte Cristo

Over the next few months Nine Circles is very pleased to bring you a new series of book reviews written by musicians throughout the metal scene. As much as they love to write their own blast beats, discordant riffs and swirling maelstroms they also love to read and, for all of our benefit, discuss. The second post in this series features Michael Martin from the progressive metal band Ascentia with his thoughts on The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre DumasContinue reading

Profile: Daniel Stollings of Ghost Horizon

Dan Stollings
Daniel Stollings

Atmospheric black metal can really be amazing, in the right hands. And with Arizona’s Ghost Horizon the genre is in very capable hands. The band got its start in 2015, released their debut EP Astral Possession (covered here) in 2016 and earlier this month released their second EP Erotics of Disgust (featured here). Both of these EP’s are living, breathing examples of atmospheric black metal and how it can amplify the emotions involved in the writing process. Recently we had the opportunity to ask founding member Daniel Stollings our set of Profile questions, read on to see what he had to say. Continue reading